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Tara's Advice

Panicked Pill Popper

Dear Tara,
The other day I was at work, and I started feeling really, really stressed. Genevieve in sales is all like, "What's wrong?" and I'm like, "Can you keep a secret?" and she's like, "Yes," and I'm like, "Genevieve, I didn't take all of my anti-anxiety medication today and I'm having a panic attack!" and she's like, "Oh my God!" and I'm like, "I know!" So anyway, Genevieve asked me what kind of medication I was taking, and I told her, and it turns out she takes the exact same kind, and she said, "How much you do need?" And I look at her, and I swear to God my eyes are starting to cry, and I'm all, "Genevieve, you are a godsend!"

So anyway, I guess there's not really a question attached to this, I just wanted to share with your readers how they should not feel ashamed to be taking legally prescribed drugs to give them the emotional balance they need, and that maybe if we, the pharmaceutical drug-takers of America, were more open, we would all just feel so much less guilt, and isolation.
My doctor said I could

Dear Doc,
Can I just break in for one little sec here, hon? Is my advice column called "SOAPBOX FOR ANY PERSON SMART ENOUGH TO SEND OUT A GODDAMN EMAIL ABOUT ANY SUBJECT THAT HAPPENS TO BE FLITTING THROUGH HER SHALLOW LITTLE BRAIN AT THE MOMENT"? No. Do me a favor and ask your beloved doctor if there are any meds that block the "lameness" enzyme.

Anyway. Begrudgingly I must admit there is some value in your long-winded, relatively pointless tale. And that is this: given that nine-tenths of this country are now on some kind of anti-depressant, anxiety-suppressant, sleeping pills or other biochemistry-altering substance, we really should get past our positively medieval attitudes about such drugs. I recommend that you yourself spearhead this movement by posting a large notice at work inviting everyone to join you and Genevieve in informal meetings at lunch to talk about your various prescription drugs. Make it sound hip, kind of like a literary salon. Be sure to include your names, phone numbers and a list of the meds you're currently taking. Your candor will inspire a lot of people to call you; get ready. While you're at it, try to talk to the people sitting around you on MUNI about what kinds of medication they might be on. It's time you and people like you come out of the shadows and get your due. Take back the night.
Whatever, Tara

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From the August 30, 1999, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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